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vacationing with paddy-b
by todd w bush

Sometimes, you get back from vacation and say to yourself, “Self, three weeks wasn’t long enough.” And then, sometimes you get back and remark, “Self, three weeks was really too long, I need a break from my vacation.” And then, very rarely, you really don’t know how to answer the inevitable “So how was your vacation?” questions that come pouring in. Do people really care? Honestly, when you ask someone that, do you really want to know what they did, or are you just being polite? Just once, when someone asks me that question, I want to say, “Well, it was great! I murdered ten goats, banged my neighbor’s cat twice, and even drank a whole carton of ketchup!” Ok, after that last paragraph I think five hours sleep in the last 72 wasn’t such a good idea.

I will say that I had a lot of fun on my three-week vacation back to Mississippi. My first weekend, my buddy Paddy-B (no relation to P-Diddy, just in case you were wondering) and I rode to a junior college football game with the school’s head basketball, baseball, and softball coaches. It turns out that the baseball coach and I were at college together at the same time. I was a junior and senior those two years, struggling to get a history degree, struggling to get a date, and struggling to cast off the stigma of having played Linace in “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” The baseball coach was, surprise surprise, an assistant baseball coach there at the time. Also, in the course of the conversation, it was discovered that the basketball coach was now married to my uncle’s ex-wife. After hearing us talk, the softball coach laughed and said, “You two went to college together. You’re married to Todd’s former aunt. Damn, y'all are an incestuous little bunch aren’t you?”

Also during the football game, me and another of the baseball coaches were discussing the intricacies of the veer offense and contrasting it with the West Coast offense. You know, important stuff. Then one of the blonde Britney-look-a-like cheerleaders walks up and stands about 3 rows in front of us, with the little top on that barely covers her boobs, leaving the midriff and lower back exposed for all guys to drool over. Anyway, Baseball Coach and I are deep into a Madden-style breakdown of what’s going on down on the field, when Paddy-B looks over at me and says in a voice reserved for only ultra-serious occasions, like telling someone you have VD or telling me that the Browns lost, “Todd, I just love those sexy blonde peach fuzz hairs on that girl’s lower back.” I do love Paddy-B.

The very next night, Paddy-B and I decided to make the hour-long drive to Jackson, MS to go out to eat at our favorite high quality establishment, and then partake of some adult beverages at a club. Before leaving Newton, MS (my home town), we stopped and got a six-pack of Bud Light. Ya know, for the road and stuff. By the time we got to Jackson, the beer was gone. At our favorite place to eat, Hooters by the way if you’re scoring at home, we switched. I went with Killian’s Irish Red on tap, and Paddy-B chose Miller Light. After an hour and a half of flirting with the waitress (almost as essential as getting hot wings at Hooters), drinking more beer, and discovering that the waitress and I had so much in common we could have been the same person (apart from that whole “she’s got breasts, I’ve got a penis” thing), we drove to the club.

Yep, this was the same club that we went to the last time I was home on leave where the old people in suits were line dancing to Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative.” This time there was no line dancing, no old people in suits, and sadly, no Bobby Brown. However, what we did have was two highly intoxicated late-20’s, early-30’s males (that would be us), and a not-too-cute, but really smart waitress. Translation: this chick was about to make a lot of money by getting us fucked up. First drink she suggested to Paddy B that we get was a “Walk Me Down” which should be renamed “I’m killing the guy drinking me with every sip.” Not to be out done, the conniving little bimbo talked me into buying us Jagermeister shots. And to top it all off, she finished us off with this one: "Why get a Jack and Coke for each of you guys? Oh hell no! Two Jack and Cokes a piece would be much better!" You remember the little rhyme about “beer before liquor, never sicker”? Well, there’s a reason that little ditty gets repeated so often, and it ain’t that it sounds cool.

By 12:30 in the morning, I was prying Paddy B away from two 5’s on the 1-10 Girl Hotness Scale so we could go stumbling to the Shoney’s Inn and get a room for the night. When I woke up the next morning, the phone book and Paddy’s credit card were on the bed next to me. I vaguely remember him saying something about calling an escort, and me protesting that none of them took plastic and the ATM was too far for me to safely walk. There are times that I hate alcohol, and times that I love it.

My second weekend home was spent going to the Ole Miss football game in Oxford, MS with Paddy-B. We were meeting our friend Flake there, who’s a manager for the men's basketball team. Our tickets for the game were 25 rows up, but since Paddy-B and I got to the stadium two hours early, we went down to the front row chair back seats to watch the teams warm up. Of course, what would an Ole Miss game be without smuggled-in Jack Daniels to add to our Cokes? Flake showed up about ten minutes before the game and no one had come to move us from our posh seats. Paddy loudly proclaimed, “I’m naoihjdf whkjer hasdfdih moshin!” which translates into “I’m not movin’ till someone comes and tells us to!” So for the entire game, we sat in the front row.

After the game, Flake took us to the hotel, then we walked to some downtown bars. Oxford is the quintessential college town, with a quaint square in the center boasting expensive clothing shops, law offices, and restaurants on the ground floor of the buildings and bars and pubs on the top floors. And like any good southern town, the city hall in the center of the square faces south, telling the north to forever and eternally kiss its ass. The first couple of bars we went to, we all felt a little out of place, being five to ten years older than any other person there, so we found a more “mature” place.

After getting more drinks, the three of us started talking and watching the late college games on the bar’s TV. I looked over Flake’s shoulder and saw a couple of girls I went to high school with. Small world, right? When I went over to say hello, their guys (husband for one, boyfriend for the other) were pretty upset that this dude would so blatantly flirt with the girls while they were there. Flirting? Moi? Surely not! Of course, I was clueless to their looks until I got back to my friends and Paddy-B told me that they didn’t really appreciate my little “hi-how-are-ya” session. I told him I didn’t care and if the guy didn’t like it, I’d Pedigree his ass right in the bar. Not to be outdone, Flake said he’d Rock Bottom the guy through a table. We looked at Paddy-B for his equally impressive wrestling move and he said, “If he doesn’t like it, I’ll crap in his butt and piss in his hair!” I don’t know what hurt worse, me laughing with smoke in my lungs, or the beer that was coming out of Flake’s nose.

The rest of my time at home consisted of vegging in front of the TV, marveling at the wonder of DirecTV and the idiocy of American commercials. How in the hell did the 1-800-Collect people think that replacing Alyssa Milano with Jamie Pressley was a step up? And did a law get passed in the US saying that every third commercial on cable has to be for some sort of “stop smoking now” product? The whole world is against us smokers, I’m telling you.

I did enjoy the new American Airlines 777 that I flew over the Atlantic on. Every seat has its on touch-screen monitor, where each person can pick between watching two and a half hours of sitcoms, the National Geographic Channel, the Travel Channel, CBS news, or movies. I found myself totally into What a Girl Wants starring Nickelodeon’s own Amanda Bynes. I’m torn between who will be the next “second hottest barely legal girl on the planet”: her or Hillary Duff. Thankfully, we have a few years to decide this debate. Of course, the next “hottest barely legal girl(s) on the planet” is already solved: the Olsen Twins.

All in all, the vacation was ok in parts, and not ok in parts. But it was needed. Time away from the day-to-day grind is important. Even if it includes Hooters girls, junior college football, and of course Paddy-B


Todd's background includes military service, a stint at a movie theater, and getting turned down for a date by Sandra Bullock. All things that make him totally unqualified to be a writer. However, now that he's getting married in November, that might just do it.

more about todd w bush


my first massage, part ii
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the cheerleaders
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robert melos
6.19.04 @ 8:43p

You've got a down home Hunter S. Thompson quality going here, with a wicked sense of humor.

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